The dhole is the only species in the Cuon genus and is known by many names, though the origin of “dhole” is unknown.
Although little-known, dholes have a plethora of names: the Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, mountain wolf, the red wolf, red dog, and the whistling dog among them, along with some 40 or so indigenous names. However, the origins of the name ‘dhole’ remain obscure.
The canid’s scientific name is Cuon alpinus, and they are the only species in the Cuon genus. In other words, if we lose the dhole we lose an entire evolutionary genus.